By in Random

Food is being wasted in America at an alarming rate.

How long have you gone without food or drink and if so were you in a cave, a gold mine in Chile or stuck on a boat at sea?

I have heard about people taking a long flight in a commercial jet and forgetting to bring extra cash to purchase food on a coach class trip. Have you been in a hospital waiting room with no money for a cola or a bag of chips?

Have you been on a camping trip and got lost for days until a forest ranger found you?

People do sometimes have these experiences, but imagine yourself just an elderly person, alone, in your own house, with no relatives or neighbors aware that you have simply run out of food and you don't have a way to get to the phone because you have fallen out of your wheel chair and you remain there for hours, perhaps days without being able to get up and call 911.

Children who live in extreme poverty who walk the streets of the big city, who may be runaways, or living on the streets with their parents moving in and out of homeless shelters might go for long periods of time with nothing to eat or drink. No place to rest, No place to even take a bath.

That is what I am talking about. Here in the United States of America, where we have the richest economy and a nominee for president who is about the most wealthy business man on the planet and in spite of all our wealth we throw away food at the drop of a hat!

I saw a Walmart employee removing items left behind by customers, at the registers, cold steaks, gallons of cold milk and candy bars, cookies, deli meats and cheeses, being placed into a shopping cart and referred to as RETURNS by the associate and being placed not back on the shelves where they belong, even the milk and meat were so recently placed by a customer or customers who decided at the last moment they did not want these perhaps just because they thought they were buy one-get one free or that their coupon for discount was not yet expired.

Food gets placed into carts but instead of putting the milk and meat and other cold items, still cold because they were placed at the registers very recently, into their original refrigerated locations, instead they get rolled over to Customer Service.

Yea. They sit there and as time ticks away they eventually become too warm to be re-refrigerated.

The store that pays it's employees wages that are fair in their estimate, is the same store that lets food go to waste just because the employee was not told that, Milk and Meat can go back to the refrigerated sections without incurring any real intrinsic damage if and only if they are put back ASAP!

When I worked at Kroger they called these perishable go-backs. The checker would announce it over the intercom and a courtesy clerk would go to that register and pick up anything that was cold and minutes recently placed as go backs and put them back exactly where they were supposed to be. Milk goes in the diary section inside a glass enclosed refrigerated shelf. Meats go back to the meat section and then the meat manager is notified by the checker so they can inspect the package to make sure it is good to be placed back with the other meats or if it is not cold enough and then the meat manager can decide if he or she wants to sell it as a reduced item as it may have lost a few days of shelf life but may still be perfectly edible.

The reasoning behind taking cold meat and cold dairy items to the Customer Service Center at a Walmart, that had only seconds or minutes earlier, been placed there by an indecisive customer must be that the store thinks it can write off the product and simply destroy it and count it as a loss. That would be an enormous amount of daily waste. I mean, get real. Over 10,000 people week shop in a Walmart. I may have made only a rough estimate but the number of people who go into a Walmart Super Center on any given day is so high that well, the parking lot, that stretches the length of over a foot ball field is almost always full of vehicles which could carry from one to 5 people at any given time.

The other thing I notice is there is stuff being sold on racks in most stores that contain a lot of sweet bakery items that are reduced for a quick sale. This happens every single day. I talked to a manager in Kroger about marked down dairy products and was told that the reason much is marked down is not because there is too much supply and not enough demand, no sir, it's because the refrigerator units they are displayed in are not working and they do not keep the temperature set at a desired level to insure the full lifespan of dairy or other cold items.

There are so many things that are wrong with middle management in retail food sales be they mom and pop stores or large box stores like Walmart, the bottom line is, food goes to waste every day and nothing is done to improve on this. High prices of food from items that get thrown out every day is the result. This high cost is passed on to the consumer, and if the consumer had the intelligence and common sense not to place unwanted cold refrigerated items at the register because they changed their minds should not even bother picking those items off the shelves and removing them in the first place. This is a sad situation because the consumer is his or her worst enemy in the case of higher prices and quality control.

Would you leave a pack of Ribeye steak out at the register at the last minute? I wouldn't. If I want something I buy it, it's that simple. But then there are those who always leave stuff at the register just because the cashier or the checker is instructed not to say anything or, they just don't care because they hate their job, they wish the customer would leave quickly and they have tired feet.

I didn't realize that anywhere from 3500 to 4000 people shop in a single Walmart Supercenter in one week and in some cases as many as 10,000 people shop there in just one week. -source:

Fact about Walmart: How many shop at Walmart in a day across America?

Quote: "According to Wal-Mart's website, each week 127 million people visit a Wal-mart which would average out to just over 18 million people a day." - end quote. -source:

Image Credit » jalapeno pepper pic by: A. P. Davis

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MegL wrote on March 11, 2016, 4:47 PM

If I take something out and change my mind, I put it back. I am horrified at the level of waste.

jiangliu1949 wrote on March 14, 2016, 5:40 AM

You have the retail food sales business at your fingertips .It does pain us to see so much food being wasted ,which would save a lot of lives,if weren't wasted .

lookatdesktop wrote on March 14, 2016, 9:39 AM

That is my main point. I live here in America and am ashamed of the way food is wasted every day while our own homeless walk the streets every day without food to eat. The level of consumer waste in the USA is staggeringly high and that is unacceptable. I hope the next president can address this problem in the next term however the next president may very well be one of the wealthiest men on the planet and usually very wealthy people do not care much about the poor. Hasn't this always been the way throughout history?

lookatdesktop wrote on March 14, 2016, 9:40 AM

So am I MegL, so am I.

MegL wrote on March 14, 2016, 11:51 AM

Yes, pretty often, simply because they do not understand what it is like to be hungry. Queen Marie Antoinette asked why the French Peasants were revolting and was told because they didn't have any bread to eat. She is reported to have replied (though this is disputed) that they should eat cake instead! I remember on the last day of term as a student, having spent my money carefully over the term, that I had a sixpence left in my pocket plus my ferry ticket home (this was over 40 years ago). That was worth about 1 cent. So I bought a chocolate bar to stave off hunger pangs. It wasn't a healthy meal but I could not afford that, but some people would have criticised me for eating a choc bar when hungry but it was all I could afford!

lookatdesktop wrote on March 14, 2016, 3:10 PM

Why even worry what others think when it's a question of survival?

jiangliu1949 wrote on March 15, 2016, 3:34 AM

On one side ,so much food is wasted every day ,on the other side so many homeless people have no enough food in their bellies ,the two make a strong contrast with each other .It also proves a bad management of some retail business magnates in a way .